NorthWind Partners Recruits CFO for Cognosante

June 22, 2021 – Reston, VA-headquartered executive search firm NorthWind Partners has assisted in the placement of Steve Hamric as the new chief financial officer of Falls Church, VA-based health IT company Cognosante. Partner Hunter Murray led the assignment. “I am pleased to welcome Steve to our leadership team,” said Michele Kang, founder and CEO of Cognosante. “He complements our strong growth culture, and his impressive track record of scaling businesses makes him the right choice to lead our finance organization as we accelerate growth.” Mr. Hamric brings more than two decades of financial leadership experience to his new position and is Cognosante’s replacement for Kevin Mostek, who was tapped to oversee the new corporate development team. Mr. Hamric will be responsible for leading Cognosante’s finance organization, supporting the company mission and contributing to its overall growth strategy.

Mr. Hamric most recently served as executive vice president and CFO of 1901 Group which was acquired by Leidos in January. Prior to that, he served as CFO at TeraThink Corp., Athena Technologies and iGov. Throughout his career, his CFO roles have focused on delivering profitable growth by driving operational and financial rigor and discipline.

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“I am incredibly excited to join such a fast-growing organization under such dynamic leadership,” said Mr. Hamric. “This role gives me an opportunity to apply my GovCon and financial strategy experience. Together with my colleagues, I look forward to supporting Cognosante’s powerful mission and contributing to the overall growth strategy and financial success of the company.”

Cognosante is a mission-driven technology company that delivers innovative and transformative solutions to improve the health and safety of Americans. The company has more than a decade of experience working with states and the federal government to improve access to care, advance clinical performance and outcome, protect from disasters and pandemics, and address the social determinants of health by developing, managing and executing large multi-faceted technology and BPO solutions. Its expertise includes Medicaid, Medicare, military and veterans’ health, the health insurance marketplace, data standards and analytics, cybersecurity, biometrics, state health exchanges, and modular system development and integration.

Veteran Search Consultants

NorthWind Partners is a global, strategic executive search advisory firm. The prime concentration of its work is with business and professional services, systems, solutions and product companies spanning the aviation, aerospace and defense, healthcare, industrial and technology sectors. The firm also has deep experience and relationships in the government contracting arena. NorthWind Partners’ success rate on engaged assignments is about 96 percent with 99 percent of executives placed maintaining a minimum tenure of one year.

Related: COVID-19 Creating New Pressures for CFOs

Over the past two decades, Mr. Murray has had deep interest in all facets of technology. He has broad experience in both commercial and public sectors and is often called upon by clients and industry associations to bridge the gap between these two markets. Mr. Murray has completed searches at the board, C-suite and all tiers of vice presidents for SaaS, data analytics, cloud and cybersecurity companies.

Expanding Role

The aftermath of the pandemic is creating additional dimensions in a CFO role that has already evolved significantly in recent years, said Kent Burns, president of Simply Driven Search, a member of Kaye Bassman Sanford Rose Network. “Leadership and mentoring are more challenging with COVID-driven virtual work. Soft skills and EQ in a CFO are more critical now than probably any time in history. The world-class CFOs I speak with understand the unprecedented importance of making relational dynamics a high priority on a daily basis.” The little things are not little things right now, he said.

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At the core, the risk factors are dramatically different as survivability of the business becomes Job 1. “The health and well-being of the leadership team has become paramount,” said Bernard Layton, managing director at Comhar Partners. “At the end of the day, the role of CFO is now a wisdom strategy and risk management role. That risk management portion of the role grows here as well as advising where to go with the business. And ultimately protecting cash is going to be a key for survivability of the business.”

CFOs, he said, are apprising the CEO of various scenarios vis-à-vis planning and managing around various business outcomes, Mr. Layton said. “They’re also mentoring and managing a team that has their own scope of responsibilities, controllership cash, treasury, financial planning, analysis and so on. In many cases, they’re even performing a human resources role, i.e., reporting in and keeping the team upbeat, motivated and looking past their own concerns towards the broader business objectives – these are all part of an expanding and challenging role.”

The job profile of the CFO will remain relatively stable, but the focus will shift,” predicted Benedikt Rinio partner and chief marketing officer of the global board at Ward Howell. “Experienced, proven CFOs are preferred as there is currently no time to develop into the CFO role or corporate processes.”

In his view, the CFO has morphed into a chief performance officer, who intervenes in the management and analysis of corporate processes, Mr. Rinio said. “In order to do this, he or she needs to know the business even better and give concrete impulses for improvement. Therefore, it is not just a matter of gathering knowledge and insights, but also of supporting the implementation. This demands a lot from the CFO as well as the entire organization. This transformation will shape the coming years.”

Related: Crisis Management: CFOs Confront New Layers of Risk in Pandemic Era

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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